Dry Weather All Week

September 27, 2009 at 2:22 am

Autumn Crocus

The number of Autumn Crocus in flower at Hopwood is the best for some years but their stalks are so fragile they only stop upright for a few days. In the scrub area by the railway a Willow Tit was calling today – perhaps it is on its way to our garden

As usual at this time of the year Jays are more visible in the woods as they look for acorns. Unfortunately, in comparison to other Autumn fruits, the Acorn crop this year is poor. As a result we should receive more visits from the Jays to our garden.

Parties of Long Tailed Tits are still being encountered in all the woodlands and there is a steady movement of Skylarks in a South West direction.

Despite the lack of sunshine there was a Comma butterfly in the garden today.

Late Summer Continues

September 21, 2009 at 5:23 am


With the exceptionally calm weather a visit to Pennington Flash produced some wonderful film of Lapwings with mirror reflections in the flat calm water. Even in Autumn they have some fabulous colours to view despite some of the crests being a bit tatty.

On Hopwood the first Skylarks are now moving through, along with small parties of Linnets. Fourteen Long Tailed Tits were still together in the woods and they seem to have had a good breeding season. The first Autumn Crocus are now in flower but sadly they only appear briefly before the Autumn gales break their delicate stalks.

In the garden the Goldfinches are now up to a maximum of twenty and the local Tawny Owl is still bringing its young in the hunt for mice and voles. Due to all the sunshine there are still plenty of Peacock, Red Admiral and Comma butterflies coming into the garden.

Summer At Last

September 13, 2009 at 3:14 pm


At long last five beautiful, calm, warm days to bring Summer to a close.

In the garden there are now Peacock, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Wood butterflies flitting about from flower to flower.

A visit to the Hodder Valley produced Kingfisher, Goosander and many charms of Goldfinches feeding on the ripening hedgerow seeds in particular the Meadow Sweet. The crops of berries this year are exceptional especially those of the Blackthorn with sloes all over the place. Pity I don’t make sloe gin!

During the week I filmed , at a local school, a nest full of young Swallows being fed. It wont be long now before they commence the long journey to South Africa.

A visit to a sheltered valley to the North of Manchester produced not one but two male Adders – the latest I have ever seen a local Adder.

On the local Golf Course Bullfinches are still numerous and along with many passerines have had a good breeding season. A Willow Tit that was calling is probably the one from our garden that I have not seen for a fortnight.